Thursday, December 31, 2009

Doggie Truce, at Last

Suzie has finally decided that she can put up with Freckles, so now she'll sit still for those kisses that Freckles has been trying to bestow upon her ever since Terry adopted her a year ago.

What upsets me is that I think I could have put a stop to the nonsense a long time ago, but just didn't think of the right words to say.

A couple of weeks ago when Freckles came to visit and Suzie gave her an unfriendly welcome, I hollered "Leave it!" And she did.

Now, why didn't I do that before. It's what I say when they chase the cat or get into anything else they shouldn't.

Oh well - the problem is solved now, but makes me feel silly that I didn't think of it before.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Will You Help Provide a Service Dog to a Child?

This message just arrived in my e-mail tonight from PALS with Pawz, and the deadline is nearing ...

December 26, 2009

My husband Jeff is in the hospital since Saturday and will probably be there until Wednesday, so I am asking for some assistance in RE POSTING this letter.

A PALS with Pawz donor has generously pledged to match up to $10,000 collected between December 24th and December 31st. We have three dogs that were rescued from ASPCA Shelters, trained and are ready for their new families to go through the 2 week orientation. The donor did not put any restrictions on their matching funds, so we can assist 4-6 families that need Autism/Seizure Service Dogs. These families have tried to raise funds, but it is difficult.

I do not take a salary from PALS and it is run mostly with my Social Security. These children/adults need to raise between $3500-$4000 for their service dog. It costs PALS approximately $8-$10000 for the training, food, vetting, etc.

So PALS would like to challenge EVERYONE, Family Members, Friends, Church Groups, and Companies to just donate $10 or $20 dollars. This may not seem like a lot, however, it all adds up. So Far, we have gathered a few donations; and Ginnie Lerch has challenged everyone to give up a cappuccino or latte and send that money in.

You can either send the donation to PO Box 387, South Pittsburg, TN 37380; or use our PayPal:
It is tax deductible, won’t you help us help an Autistic child or A child with Seizure Disorders get their Service Dog and Companion, which would not only help the patient, but also gives their families peace of mind.

Thank you in advance for your consideration. Happy New Year,
Christine G.
PALS With Paws

Monday, December 28, 2009

Doggie Christmas Gifts

Just so the 3 canines wouldn't feel left out on Christmas morning, I got them each a rawhide chew... forgetting entirely that it wasn't a good idea.

Ralph loves them, but he was funny. He was being lazy, so stayed laying flat on his side while he chewed. It looked a bit awkward, but he managed to consume the whole thing.

Pepper wasn't too sure he wanted his, but he carried it around and gave it an occasional chew.

Then there was Suzie. She doesn't even like the things, but somehow feels that she needs to hang on to them. So she wandered around the house with the chew in her mouth, looking like she simply didn't know what to do about it.

Then later, after Pepper had abandoned his, she took it too. She then alternated between carrying both of them in her mouth and laying with both between her feet, guarding them. The poor girl couldn't do anything else all day!

Finally, when I heard company arriving for dinner and knew that meant an extra dog in the house, and there could be a battle,I took them away from her.

I think she was relieved.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Don't Put this in Your Dog's Christmas Stocking!

Following is a press release copied from the FDA website...

If you've purchased Beef Hoof products or pig ears for your pet this season, check to see where they came from...

Pet Carousel Conducts Nationwide Recall of Beef Hoof Products and Pig Ears Because of Salmonella Risk

Company Contact:
Pet Carousel, Inc

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – December 9, 2009 – Sanger, CA-- Pet Carousel has initiated a recall of all Pig Ears and all varieties of Beef Hoof pet treats because the products may be contaminated with Salmonella. The problem was discovered after FDA testing found positive results for Salmonella in pig ears and beef hoof products.

These products were recalled because they have the potential to be contaminated with Salmonella. Salmonella can affect both humans and animals. People handling dry pet food and/or pet treats can become infected with Salmonella, especially if they have not thoroughly washed their hands after having contact with the treats or any surfaces exposed to these products.

Healthy people infected with Salmonella may experience some or all of the following symptoms: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, abdominal cramping and fever. Although rare, Salmonella can result in more serious ailments including arterial infections, endocarditis (inflammation of the lining of the heart), arthritis, muscle pain, eye irritation, and urinary tract symptoms. Consumers exhibiting these signs after having contact with this product should contact their health care provider immediately.
Pets with Salmonella infections may become lethargic and have diarrhea or bloody diarrhea, fever and vomiting. Some pets may only experience a decreased appetite, fever and abdominal pain. Infected, but otherwise healthy pets can be carriers and infect other animals or humans. If your pet has consumed any of the affected products or is experiencing any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.

The following products have been recalled: The affected pig ear products were packaged under the brand names Doggie Delight, Pork Tasteez and Pet Carousel
Item No.:

* 18100-P Bulk
* 18016-P 10-pk red mesh bag
* 18120-P 20-pk red mesh bag.

The affected beef hooves were packaged under the brand names Choo Hooves, Dentley’s, Doggie Delight, and Pet Carousel
Item No.:

* 1506-K 5 lb. bulk
* 1507-K 10 lb. bulk
* 1520-K 20 lb. bulk
* 12125-T 10-pk vinyl bag
* 12110-T 10-pk, vinyl bag
* 12111-T 10-pk, vinyl bag
* 12122-T 10 lb., bulk
* 1503-K 3-pk, vinyl bag
* 1510-K 10-pk ,vinyl bag
* 1405-S 5 lb., bulk
* 1408-S 10-pk, vinyl bag
* 1410-S 10 lb., bulk
* 1420-S 20 lb., bulk
* 90058-H Cheese/& Bacon Stuffed Hoof, bulk
* 90056-H Peanut Butter Stuffed Hoof, bulk
* 17005-R Rope toy with Hooves.

The products were distributed nationwide in both bulk and retail packaging for sale in pet food and retail chain stores throughout the country. All sizes and all lots of these pork ears purchased on or after 08/16/2009 and all beef hoof products in all varieties purchased on or after 09/16/2009 made by Pet Carousel are included in this alert.

Pet Carousel has completed notifying its consignees and requested the consignees return affected products and remove them from retail sales. Out of an abundance of caution and concern for public safety, Pet Carousel is issuing this press release to inform consumers of potential risks and to ensure that all affected product has either been returned or otherwise removed from use.

Consumers who have purchased the products described above should cease use and return the product to their place of purchase. Additionally, consumers with questions may contact Pet Carousel at 800-231-3572 from 8:00am to 4:00pm PST.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Caring for your Dogs in Winter

The snow has finally arrived in North Idaho - and with it some dangers for our dogs.

Getting lost is a concern for dogs now, because apparently it's not so easy to follow their own scent back home if they run off into the snow to explore. So, keep those pups in sight or sound!

Also, snow and ice can build up between their toe pads and cause injury - keep an eye on that!

But a more common danger for city dogs is ice melter. If you take your dog walking on city sidewalks or across city streets, be SURE to wash those paws when you get back home. The de-icer is not only damaging to the skin on their feet, but toxic when they begin licking it off during their grooming routines.

If your dogs live outdoors, remember that they need water just as much in winter as they do during the hottest part of the summer. Don't let those water dishes freeze! Heated water bowls are inexpensive, and good insurance for your dog's health.

They also need someplace snug to get into to get away from the winter winds. Even though many dogs, such as Malamutes, do prefer to bury themselves in snow, your shorter-haired friends need your help to stay warm.

A little extra rations are also a good idea for those outdoor dogs - it takes energy to keep up body heat when the temperatures are freezing.

Monday, December 14, 2009

Has anyone done a Dog Walk Fundraiser?

This week one of my fundraising ezine readers wrote to ask me if I knew anything about doing a Dog Walk for a fundraiser.

I didn't. I've never been involved with one, or even lived near where one was scheduled.

So... if you have information to share about how to set it up, things to be careful of, etc. Please share!

Oh - by the way, if you'd like to get that ezine, you can go to and opt-in. You'll find a box on the top left - when you enter your name and email address, you'll be asked which ezine you want. You can have one - or all 3 if you like!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Two Tales to Warm Your Heart

This morning's email brought a link to a wonderful story - a story of a life saved and a love found.

It reminded me of the very first "rescue" I took part in before our local rescue even came into existence. Not because the circumstances were the same, but because of the pup involved.

I was a real estate broker and one of my agents had gotten acquainted with an agent from a neighboring town - and it had someone come out that she was a dog lover.

One day he called to tell her that he managed a rental in a nearby town and had gone there today to check the house after the tenants left... and there was a dog tied to the tree in the back yard. Did she want to do something about it?

She told me what was going on and we set out to rescue the dog. By some lucky chance, my big "dog cage" was in the back of my pickup, but we had no blanket.

We arrived at this house to find the most miserable looking, filthy dog you can imagine. The tree he was tied to was surrounded with dust, so of course he was covered with dust. The agent had given him water but he was hungry on top of being filthy.

We couldn't decide what kind of dog this was - he had long, curly blonde hair. Could he be a standard poodle? No, must just be a mixed breed of some kind.

There was a shed filled with clothes the tenants didn't take, so we grabbed whatever looked clean enough for a filthy dog and put it in the crate for a bed, then loaded him up. I have to say that neither of us really wanted to touch him - he was that dirty! But he was friendly and cooperative - glad to have some attention, I suppose.

On the way back to our office my friend called a dog groomer friend who said to bring him right in. She'd donate to the cause. So, we fed him, then took him to the groomer.

Imagine our shock when we went after him a few hours later and found what appeared to be a purebred Cocker Spaniel!

We had him in the office and our secretary asked if she could take him along when she went to pick up her son from day care. Of course we said yes, since we still had no idea what we were going to do with him.

Well, that was that. The day care lady took one look at him and asked if she could have him. She had wanted a golden Cocker as long as she could remember. That night he slept with her son, and they've been fast friends ever since.

That story had a happy ending, as so does this one.

Thank you Carolyne, for sharing your story.

And... Happy Thanksgiving to Everyone!


Saturday, November 21, 2009

Is Your Dog Food Safe - or Deadly?

More and more we're hearing about the disgusting things that some manufacturers are putting into dog food.

Last week I read that some even use the bodies of dogs and cats who have been put down in shelters. The poison used to kill them does NOT cook out in processing, so it goes into the food - and into our pet's tummies. The whole thing is way beyond awful.

But, even without poison and pets in the food, many dog foods contain other ingredients that aren't exactly health food. For instance, the first (primary) ingredient in Iams is corn. Dogs need meat, not corn. Plus, corn is known to produce allergies in many pets. Not only that, it contains "by products." By products can be just about anything (like other dogs and cats, intestines, feces, etc.) and are probably not something you'd eat if you knew about it.

But hey! The veterinarians sell it, so it must be good, right? No - not good. Just expensive and profitable.

So, I decided to read all the labels in town and find something with no by products.(It's a small town - one grocery store and one feed store that sell pet food.) That led me to Nutro. It was the only one I found without by-products.

But, in reading the analysis now, I see that it isn't so good either. Just expensive.

I had already stopped buying canned dog food, opting instead to create the soft portion of their diet from meat and vegetable scraps from our own human food. They love it and I know they're not getting any by-products.

So now, I guess my only option is to head to the "big city" and find a store that sells good food. Or maybe to buy on line. According to the pet forums, there are several brands for sale that are actually nutritious food for our dogs. Solid Gold, Eagle Pack, Merrick, Blue Buffalo, Mulligan, and Fromm are a few that were mentioned.

Meanwhile, if you'd like to see an analysis of the brand you're now feeding, go to

They have about 1,500 brands analyzed there, and I found other pages on the site to be equally interesting.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Thanksgiving Dog Safety

Thanksgiving can be a lot of fun for humans, but for dogs who are used to their own routine, it can be an upsetting time. They may either have a lot of extra people around or they get left alone, or in a kennel, while their family goes off to celebrate somewhere else.

Your dog may love the extra people and the attention - but if he doesn't, you might want to have a bottle of Feel5ive on hand to help him stay calm and collected. It's the combination of Bach Flower essences that helps both humans and pets through stressful situations. (If you're the host or hostess, you may want to take some yourself!)

Meanwhile, there are other dangers. This article from Dogster outlines some of them, but missed one important one.

If you happen to live where going out the front door is dangerous for dogs, and if your dog becomes upset by strangers coming and going, there's a real danger of him getting outside in the confusion. I know of more than one tragic loss that happened during holiday confusion, and it can sure put an end to the festivities.

Instead of taking chances, why not leave Spot in a bedroom, or even in his kennel, until everyone is in and settled? (And by the way, the same goes for your cats.)

Oh - one more thing. Please protect your dogs from kids (and some adults) who want to grab and pull and tease. It really is a form of torture for them.

Help for My Fat Pepper Dog

Lately I've been concerned that my dog Pepper is getting TOO FAT!

It occurred to me that maybe he isn't using his food properly, because I keep feeding him less and less, but it isn't working.

So... I made a visit to VetIonx. They're the company that makes the joint support supplement that saved my dog Ralph from being a cripple for the rest of his life, so I trust them.

Their products are all natural - vitamins and minerals to support a healthy body.

I read all about their Healthy Blood Sugar product and found that if it doesn't help, it sure won't hurt. In fact, I decided to order enough to give all 3 of my kids a dose each day.

If you have similar concerns about your pets, click the banner below and read about it. Meanwhile, I'll report back as soon as Pepper has been on it for a few weeks.

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Freckles, the Computer Pup!

This week my neighbor finally signed up for satellite service so he could go on line and look at all the cool pieces and parts he can buy for his various projects... and he found out very quickly that if he wants to get much done, he should leave Freckles in the other room.

This is a pup who loves to chase bugs... flies, bees, beetles - any bugs will do.

And guess what a computer cursor looks like moving across the screen? A fly!

Luckily, she wears a harness, so that I had good places to grab and hang on while my showing my neighbor how to do some things on the web. Otherwise, she'd have been tearing holes in the monitor to get at that darned fly.

Next time I stop by I'm taking my camera!

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

A good story...

Tonight my friend Ken wrote about a good story he saw on the evening news... about 15 rescued Dalmations who now live a life of luxury. So I asked him to find the link and send it to me for you.

The first link is the news story:

The next one is a little more background information:

Too bad television and newspaper people don't realize how much we enjoy hearing some good news... maybe they'd report more of it.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Dogs Have Sensitive Noses!

My Suzie dog is what I call a social butterfly. She loves everyone, and wants to make friends with everyone. She's especially fond of our neighbor Byron.

He stops by out at the shop to visit most evenings, and always has a pet and kind word for her - telling her she's beautiful and smart and wonderful. She eats it up.

That is, unless his boots or gloves smell wrong.

Earlier this year it was the gloves. We couldn't figure out why she wouldn't go near him until I picked up the gloves and she wouldn't come near me! We finally figured out that it was the mink oil he had recently used to keep the leather soft and water-resistant.

But the last couple of days, it appears to be his boots. She gets the darndest expression on her face. She starts to run over to him, the stops and backs away and looks so confused. He LOOKS like her friend, and he SOUNDS like her friend, but... she's afraid to go near him.

Last night he swore to her that he had bathed recently - that was an interesting conversation.

This time we think it may be the fact that his barnyard has been over-run with wild turkeys, and he's walking in their droppings. It isn't mink oil, because those are rubber boots.

I sure wish we humans could understand dog as well as dogs can understand English!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Another Pet Food Recall - This time for Cats

Yep, I know, this is a doggie blog. But almost every dog person I know also has cats, so...

Diamond Pet Foods has issued a voluntary recall on the following date codes of Premium Edge Finicky Adult cat food and Premium Edge Hairball cat food... Read the FDA message.

All these recalls are making me feel like I need to set up my own system for making pet food, or find a small business that makes it from ingredients they're sure about.

With so many of the large manufacturers using ingredients that come from foreign
sources, who knows what's going into pet food - OR human food.

After discussing this with a friend who was shocked and dismayed to find that her DelMonte pears had come from China, we've about decided that we need to find some organic growers and spend a month next fall picking and preserving. A lot of work, but perhaps worth it to keep ourselves and our families healthy.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Could This Have Happened to YOUR Dog?

This is really scary - for dogs, and for humans as well.

An aging poodle, put to bed in her crate for the night, couldn't get out in the morning. Why? Because her belly was adhered to the plastic in the bottom of the crate.

I can't imagine why a dog would be put to bed in a crate with no pad, but perhaps there was a reason. Maybe she preferred a blanket to wad up and she had shoved it into a corner. Whatever the reason, the poor dog was stuck - all because her owner had applied Advantage flea treatment before putting her to bed.

It's all about the ingredients in the flea treatment, as you'll see in this article.

Please read clear to the end, even though it's long. Along with preventing damage to a dog or cat you love, the warning there could save you or your child from a similar fate.

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Some Dogs do love water!

I just came across this cute youtube video on twitter, showing that some dogs don't have to be coaxed to get in the water!

Here at home, my dogs are a bit lukewarm about it. Susie and Ralph like to wade up to their bellies, while Pepper will get in and swim across the pond on a hot day.

But then there's Freckles, my neighbor's young dog. We have a man-made pond out behind our shop and when she comes to visit she heads straight for the water.

Unfortunately for her, my husband diverted the water from it so he could clean out the dead vegetation and once again have clean water. The dogs were getting kind of "goopy" from going in there.

Last time she came she headed out there just like normal, only to find a dry hole. The look on her face as she stood in the bottom was priceless: "Uhhh... where'd it go?"

I called her and as we walked back toward the shop she spotted a puddle in the road created by my garden sprinkler. Just like a small child, she ran to the puddle, raised her front end in the air, and brought her feet down with a huge splash! in the middle of the puddle.

Poor Terry - he had to give Freckles a bath again that night.

Friday, October 2, 2009

Can this be true?

Today's email brought a message saying that Michael Vick has once again been chosen to endorse Nike.

Can this be true?

Does it matter to you? Will you stop buying Nike if it is indeed true?

Do you believe that Michael is truly remorseful about the unspeakable crimes he committed against dogs, or that he is only remorseful about being punished for them?

Tell me how you feel about this...

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Nutro Puppy Food Recall

Before everyone hears part of the news and panics... This is from the Nutro website:

For Immediate Release: 9/30/2009

Nutro Products Voluntary Retrieval of Select Puppy Foods

Q: I heard that there may be plastic in some NUTRO® products. Is this true?
A: Small pieces of melted plastic were recently found in the production line of select varieties of NUTRO® dry dog and cat food products. We immediately retrieved the affected pet food from our distributors, and only three sku’s reached retail stores. These were delivered to a small number of PetSmart and Petco stores. The specific products are listed below.

Upon discovery of the melted plastic, we immediately halted manufacturing and performed a thorough search of all equipment. We identified the source as a worker’s “bump cap,” similar to a hard hat, which inadvertently made its way into our manufacturing process.

Based on our extensive review, it is highly unlikely that any pieces of plastic made it into finished product. However, upon learning of the incident, we voluntarily retrieved all potentially affected products.

We strive to produce pet food of the highest quality and safety standards. Consumers who believe they have purchased potentially affected product should return it to their retailer for a full refund or exchange for another NUTRO® product, or contact the Nutro Products Consumer Care team at 1-800-833-5330.

Thank you for your continued loyalty and support for Nutro Products.


NUTRO® ULTRA™ Puppy food for dogs
UPC 79105 51313
Size 4.5 LB
Best by Date 9/10/10

NUTRO® NATURAL CHOICE® Chicken Meal, Rice and Oatmeal Formula Small Bites Puppy

UPC 79105 23050
Size: 5 LB
Best buy date: 09/10/10


NUTRO® ULTRA™ Puppy food for dogs
UPC 79105 51315
Size 30 LB
Best by 09/10/10

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Coyotes Coming Closer

Last night when I let my crew out for a run around the yard I heard a different sounding bark - one I didn't like at all. And then Suzie came hurrying back into the light with Pepper close behind.

Most of the time my dogs tend to sound threatening to anyone out there - but last night they seemed to be frightened themselves. All but Ralph. Ralph just kept barking at them, but he's a little bigger. He's been known to pick up a coyote and toss it like a rag doll.

Tonight the coyotes were barking so close that I'm sure if I'd had a flashlight I'd have seen them at the bottom of the hill. A couple of firecrackers sent them on their way, but they made me nervous. I came straight in and checked to make sure both cats were safe inside. Tiger likes to explore outside and gets a little farther from the house than I'd like.

I don't mind hearing them howl and yip - as long as they stay in the woods and away from my critters!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Do You Use Clumping Litter for Your Cats? Beware!

Since many dog lovers are also cat lovers, I thought I should share what I learned today.

This morning's e-mail brought a sad message from Nicole at Kent County Animal Rescue - and along with it a warning for those with kittens... Here's the story in Nicole's words:

"Lately we have lost a few kittens from sudden death. We had come to the conclusion it was some kind of sickness from birth or other illness but last night after spending a few hours trying to save yet another one I realized that the vomit contained wet cat litter.. So i went to read up on it and here is what I have learned..."

"Do NOT use clumping litter for a young kitten! Use pellet-style litter until the kitten is at least eight weeks old. Caution about clumping litter: Ingesting sodium bentonite can be harmful or fatal to your cat. Your cat may ingest the litter when cleaning her paws. Litter containing Sodium Bentonite should be avoided, especially for small kittens. They have small crystals that once inhaled will expand in their lungs or if eaten will expand in their intestines."

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Take a Minute to Feed a Dog, Help a Rescue

Yesterday my friend Brynann from Beagles of Arizona Rescue Club wrote asking me to please vote for them every day on Petfinder's Animal Rescue Site. They're in the running for top shelter in Arizona, and - like all rescues - could really put the prize money to good use.

So... if you don't have a favorite rescue, please vote for BARC - and if you do have a favorite, go see if they're participating. It would be pretty tough to win the national spot, since Best Friends is in the lead and they have thousands of followers, but you just might put BARC (or your hometown rescue) in top spot for your State.

This is the same site that asks you to come and click every day to help feed a rescued dog... Every time you do, you contribute .6 bowls of food. So you might want to bookmark that page and go back often to click.

Click here to visit the Animal Rescue Site and feed a dog, then Vote for your favorite rescue!

While you're there, look at the unusual items for sale. Some of those might make good ideas for your rescue group, although I don't know where you'd buy paper clips shaped like dog biscuits! You could, however, copy some of the other ideas, such as the paw shaped candies. In any case, looking at their offerings will get your imagination started.

Friday, September 4, 2009

New Doggie Quotes

Thanks to Bob & Mabel (treat giver and rat terrier, respectively), of the Dog Tracks - Songs by Dogs website, I just got a long page of dog quotes - and posted at least a dozen new ones on my Do You Love Dogs site.

If you love gathering good quotes, come and see!

But first, here's more of them...

"My dog is half pit bull, half poodle. Not much of a watchdog, but a vicious gossip!" - Craig Shoemaker

"Histories are more full of examples of the fidelity of dogs than of friends." - Alexander Pope

"I love a dog. He does nothing for political reasons." - Will Rogers

"There are times when even the best manager is like the little boy with the big dog, waiting to see where the dog wants to go so he can take him there.” - Lee Iacocca, US auto business executive

"I like dogs better [than people]. They give you unconditional love. They either lick your face or bite you, but you always know where they're coming from. With people, you never know which ones will bite." - Greg Louganis

"If a dog will not come to you after having looked you in the face, you should go home and examine your conscience." - Woodrow Wilson

"You think dogs will not be in heaven? I tell you, they will be there long before any of us." - Robert Louis Stevenson

And one more... for today's political world: "[My dog] can bark like a congressman, fetch like an aide, beg like a press secretary and play dead like a receptionist when the phone rings." - Gerald B H Solomon, US Congressman

Does Your Dog Get Diarrhea?

Who knows what upsets a doggie tummy now and then? And who enjoys trying to force a dog to take a pill - or Milk of Magnesia?

If you dog suffers from occasional (or chronic) bouts of diarrhea, you'll be glad to know of a simple cure I learned about recently: Coconut Macaroon Cookies! Almost no one has trouble convincing a dog to eat a cookie.

Sounds crazy, but according to several reports I've read, the cookies work for both dogs and humans. For humans the recommended "dose" is two cookies per day. For dogs a half cookie usually does the trick.

The reason why it works has to do with the oil in the coconut causing the body to digest food more easily. And in fact, humans who suffer from irritable bowel disease have found relief by taking a couple tablespoons of coconut oil daily - or more, depending upon the severity of their illness.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Help Jamaican Rescuers Get Water!

The dedicated workers at Animal House Jamaica have been carrying water to their critters for months now!

Can you imagine carrying water to care for 150 animals? I sure can't.

Following is the note I got this morning, and I've already been to the site to read more and sign the petition. If you have a minute, please join me in helping them.

I write to ask if you can help us publicize a petition to the Prime Minister designed to pressure the Jamaican government into re-connecting our water. Our water was disconnected when the company supplying our utilities changed and the new company does not want to continue supplying us. And with over 150 in-house animals you can imagine what a crisis that has created.

The petition link is:

Anything you can do to help would be greatly appreciated.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Get rid of fleas naturally with this home remedy

As you know, two of the natural products listed in the sidebar here are designed to kill fleas and ticks on your critters. After my experience with using a chemical flea killer on poor Pepper, I would never use Frontline or any of the others again.

So, I was interested when one of the forums I read started a discussion about natural flea repellent/killer.

This "recipe" was posted as a spray against mosquitoes.

The lady who posted it said that "This stuff is actually killing the ticks on the dogs.... I'm finding them on the floor, dead or dying, in the mornings. (yuck)"

Add 8 or 9 drops of each of the following essential oils to a 24-oz. spray bottle filled with water.
Tea Tree
Sage (any kind)
Sweet Orange
Pine Needle.

Or 1/2 teaspoon per gallon of water.

Dogs'll smell lovely (mostly peppermint), and it should work nicely to deter the tiny livestock.

This reminded me that catnip (a mint) is supposed to keep mosquitoes away when planted around the house. I did that and the stuff grows like a bad weed.

Does it work? I don't know. We get a few mosquitoes, but not many. I do know that it does not deter bees!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Dogs on the go...

By now you know my neighbor, Freckles.

It seems that if her human says "Shall we go visit Ralph?" she runs to get in this little sport vehicle, where she has her own seatbelt, and of course a pair of cool shades. Can't be letting bugs get in the eyes!

She's all healed up from her foot injury, by the way, and is back to dragging Ralph around by the hair on his neck.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

A Native American Legend

There is a Native American legend which says:

"When a human dies there is a bridge they must cross to enter into Heaven. At the head of that bridge waits every animal that human encountered during their lifetime. The animals, based on what they know of this person, decide which humans may cross the bridge...and which are turned away."

I like that one, and I like to think that when I get there all of my 4-legged friends who have already crossed the Rainbow Bridge will be there, anxious for a pet and a hug.

Now, if we could just convince those who profess religion yet abuse animals that this legend is the truth...

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Finding Lost Pets

This great information on finding lost cats just came in from Nicole at Kent County Animal Rescue.

Since many dog lovers also love cats, and since many of the tips apply to both, I thought I'd share...

Less than 2% of all "lost" cats are reunited with their owners. That is a really scary number. Especially considering how easily this could happen. It only takes a split second.

This is why I feel that it is absolutely necessary for every indoor cat to wear an ID Tag. I really believe this is one of the most important things you can do for your cat.

Today, I'd like to give you a few quick tips to help you find a missing pet. But more importantly, I'm also going to tell you what you can do to prevent this from ever happening to you and your precious pet.

If your pet is lost:

* Search the area. Talk to the neighbors and passersby.
* Walk or drive through the area several times daily. Early morning and evening are the best times to look for a lost pet.
* Hand out a recent photograph of your pet and information on how you can be reached.
* Post signs in the neighborhood with your pet's description, a photo, your phone number and information about ID tags.
* Put signs in grocery stores, community centers, veterinary offices and other high traffic locations.
* Place advertisements in newspapers and with radio stations. Include your pet's sex, age, weight, breed, color and special markings.
* The Internet may be helpful in tracking down a lost pet, although its search is wide and random.
* Here's something that can really help get your pet back home to you. The; Pet ID Tag ... it's like an "Amber Alert" for pets. If your pet is lost, they will immediately notify humane societies and shelters within a 50-mile radius, and post a missing pet alert to websites that help find lost pets. This is one of the best pet protection programs I've ever seen.

Prevent your cat from ever getting lost!

* If you have an indoor/outdoor cat, don't leave your animal outside when you're gone for long periods of time.
* If you are gone for a long time, leave your pet with a responsible person or get a house sitter.
* Jot down the numbers from your pet's rabies tag, write your phone number on his tag, and take a good photo of your pet.
* Consider having a computer microchip implanted under your pet's skin. Shelters and veterinary hospitals use microchips to identify lost animals and reunite them with their owners.
* Every pet should have an ID tag. Even indoor cats. If your cat were to ever sneak out, like Oreo did, an ID tag is your cat's best chance of being reunited with you. I recommend the; Pet ID Tag. It has some very nice features including a toll-free hotline for owners of lost pets and the people who find them ... and the hotline is there for you 24 hours a day, 356 days a year. They will also notify all shelters within a 50-mile radius, which can really increase your chances of being reunited with your kitty.

One of the BEST ways to help bring a lost pet back home to you is to protect him with proper identification ... on his collar, an ID tag, or with a microchip.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Dogs will chew, especially when they're puppies

My neighbor came by today - he called first to see if I had some extra vetrap - because his pup had chewed her bandage off again and he was out.

About a week or so ago she cut her foot - apparently she found a piece of glass in the dirt in the yard while she was digging and darn near cut a pad from her foot. So, she had stitches and she's been bandaged, but even wearing the lampshade collar, she can find a way to get at that foot!

She's been a bundle of activity ever since he got her - only slowing down when she exhausts herself - but the bandage chewing is making my neighbor crazy. He tried something from the vet called "Yuck" - she likes it. Tried cayenne pepper and tabasco sauce - she thinks they're great!

When she was slightly younger, she demolished the remote for his surveillance cameras, along with some carpeting and a pair of shoes... And while she's getting better, he's also learning which things need to be put out of reach.

My own dogs are long past the chewing stage, but along with my best pair of shoes, they chewed the leg from an ottoman and the corner moldings from the trim around our kitchen and hallway floors.

Experts advise giving your puppy a good variety of chewy toys to keep her interested, making sure she gets plenty of exercise, and... no surprise: keeping her contained where she can't get at things for destruction purposes when you aren't home.

I'd add... put things away when you are home. My best shoes were demolished when I was just in the other room. (My fault entirely - I knew there was something about that lovely soft leather that attracted them, and I failed to put them in the closet when I got home.)

Puppies aren't chewing to be mean - they're teething, and just as young humans need something to chew on, so do they. Later on, they're chewing from boredom, so give them plenty to do. Dogs need jobs just like humans do!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Keeping Pets Safe in Summertime

Summertime poses plenty of threats for our precious pets!

One of them, of course, is heat. We need to take extra precautions to make sure they have shade and plenty of water. And we have to hurt their feelings by leaving them at home rather than letting them go along for the ride if we're doing errands that will take us out of our vehicles where they can't accompany us.

When traveling, we must take care not to get them get lost in strange surroundings. Dogs love to go camping, but can easily be distracted by following a wild animal scent and get into trouble. Along with keeping a close eye on them, make sure they're wearing tags that are solidly attached - and a microchip is a very good idea. (But don't use it in place of the tags... some rescues, veterinarians, and animal control agncies don't scan!)

We also need to watch out for new poison threats. We talked about mushrooms a couple of days ago, but many of the decorative plants (and weeds) around our homes are also dangerous for our critters.

HSUS has posted a comprehensive list of plants that pose a threat to your animals. Check their list to make sure none of the offenders live in the yard where your pets play.

Friday, July 17, 2009

The 4 Phases of Animal Rescue

This came in my e-mail today, and I had to share... I believe it came from the HSUS site, but was unable to locate it.

The Four Phases of Rescue
by Douglas Fakkema

Those of us who work on behalf of and who dedicate our lives to animals go
through four phases in our career evolution. As we are unique, so are our
individual stories, but we all go through a similar process, and if we
survive that process go on to understand that we have achieved what we wanted
in the first place.


Red hot and raring to go, we are out to change the world. We are high on
life. We know we can make a difference, that our efforts on behalf of animals
will ease their plight. We work what seems like 25-hour days yet are
energized. Our enthusiasm overflows, our capacity for challenges is limitless.
We eat, sleep and live in the cause for animals. Our friends don't
understand our obsession and turn away or just fade away, and we let them for we
meet new ones. Some of us though don't make new friends, we're too busy
working for animals.

Some of us become loners with only our canine or feline companions to keep
us from total isolation but we're content because we have a cause. In our
zeal, we tend to affix simple solutions to complex problems - every animal
should be sterilized or no animal should be euthanized. We're often late
because we try to rescue animals from highways and streets. We think we
understand the problem and we know we can fix it if only people would get out of
our way.


Our phase one enthusiasm has turned sour, the bubble bursts and we crash
and burn. We see the same people coming into the shelter with yet another
litter -they haven't heard our message. We continue to euthanize, there seems
no end to it. Even our friends - those we still have left - don't
understand us. We can't seem to reach anyone.

Animals are still abused and neglected, their plight seems unchanged
despite all our efforts. We've lost the boundless energy that characterizes
Phase One. We no longer wish to talk about work, don't even want to admit where
we work. We're tired all the time. We go home from work, lock the doors,
turn out the lights, turn off the answering machine and close the window
blinds. We're too exhausted to cook so we scarf fast food, pizza, potato chips
or chocolate.

Some of us buy useless objects we can't afford. Some of us turn to alcohol
for it takes away our feelings of hopelessness. We ignore our families and
even our pets get less attention than we know is right. We seem powerless
to affect any of the changes that drove us to such ecstasies of dedication
in Phase One. We have become horrified by the work we have to do. Even our
dreams are filled with the horror. Every animal we take in, every animal we
euthanize is yet another nail in our coffin of defeat. Somehow we're to
blame for all our failure and it's destroying us. Raise the shields Scotty,
the Klingons are on our tail!

Our shield gets thicker and thicker. It blocks the pain and the sadness
and makes our life somehow tolerable. We continue on because every now and
then we get a spark of Phase One energy.


Our phase two depression has turned outward and we're mad as hell.
Hopelessness turns to rage. We begin to hate people, any people and all people
unless, like our co-workers, they dedicate their lives to animals the way we
do. We even hate our co-workers if they dare question us - especially about
euthanasia. It occurs to us, let's euthanize the owners, not the pets.
Let's take everyone who abuses an animal or even surrenders an animal and
euthanize them instead. Our rage expands to our out-of-work life. That guy in
front of us on the highway, the one who's in our way, euthanize him too. We
rage at politicians, television, newspapers, our family. Everyone is a
target for our anger, scorn and derision. We have lost our perspective and

We're unable to connect with life. Even the animals we come in contact
with seem somehow distant and unreal. Anger is the only bridge to our
humanness. It's the only thing that penetrates our shield.


Gradually, and over time, the depression of Phase Two and the anger of
Phase Three become replaced with a new determination and understanding of what
our mission really is. It is big picture time. We realize that we have
been effective - locally and in some cases regionally and even nationally. So
we haven't solved the problem - who could - but we have made a difference
with dozens, even hundreds and sometimes thousands of animals. We have
changed the way others around us view animals.

We begin to see our proper place in our own community and we begin to see
that we are most effective when we balance our work and out-of-work lives.
We realize that work is not our whole world and that if we pay attention to
our personal lives, we can be more effective at work. We understand that
some days we work 14 hours and some days we knock it off after only 8. We
take vacations and we enjoy our weekends. We come back refreshed and ready to
take on daily challenges.

We see that all people are not bad. We understand that ignorance is
natural and in most cases curable. Yes, there are truly awful people who abuse
and neglect animals but they are a minority. We don't hate them. When we find
them we do all we can to stop them from hurting animals.

We recognize that the solutions are just as complex as the problems and
bring a multitude of tools to the problem at hand and use them any way we can
and we begin to see results - one small step at a time. We reconnect with
the animals. Our shields come down. We understand that sadness and pain are
a part of our job. We stop stuffing our feelings with drugs, food or
isolation. We begin to understand that our feelings of anger, depression and
sadness are best dealt with if we recognize them and allow them to wash over
and past us. We recognize our incredible potential to help animals. We are
changing the world.

I've noticed that some people get frozen in Phase One (the zealots), or
Two (the zombies), or Three (the misanthropes) . Some shift back and forth
between Two and Three and even between Four and Three or Four and Two. Many
leave animal work during Phase Two or Three, never to return. Some seem to
move rapidly to Phase Four, while for others it takes years and years. Some
never get a sense of peace to go along with our purpose, they work their
entire lives on the frantic pink cloud of phase one or depressed or angry. I
know I've been in all four phases in 25 years in animal protection. Can the
journey from Phase One to Four be speeded up? Can we avoid the pain,
discomfort and agony that goes with the journey? I wish I knew.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Poison Mushroom Warning

This is scary! I got the following in my e-mail this morning and thought I should pass it along. If you have mushrooms in your yard,you might want to get rid of them... I don't know if it affects only Colorado or not.

Vets Report Dozens Of Dogs Poisoned
Jaclyn Allen, 7NEWS Reporter

POSTED: 4:37 pm MDT July 13, 2009
UPDATED: 8:02 am MDT July 14, 2009

CONIFER, Colo. -- Veterinarians in the foothills are struggling to keep up with the growing number of dogs who are being poisoned by mushrooms.

Because of the history-making moisture Colorado experienced this spring, mushrooms are everywhere in the mountains, and in the last week, Veterinarian Jeff Danielson has seen a drastic increase in mushroom poisonings. Mushrooms, when ingested by dogs, can break down their central nervous systems.

Last year, the hospital saw six cases, Danielson said. In the last five or six days, they've had about three dozen

"It's a startling change," said Danielson. "They're stumbling, falling over, some have full-blown seizures. It can be pretty scary for owners."

Jeff Clark has three dachshunds whom he considers more than pets.

"The dogs are our children," said Clark.

So when Herman, the newest of Clark's dachshunds, got sick Saturday after eating mushrooms from the back yard, Clark called the vet and kept a close eye on the dog.

"About 10, 11 at night, when we all went to bed, he seemed fine," said Clark. "But when we woke up in the morning, he was dead. It broke our hearts."

His wasn't the only sick dog.

It happened to Paul Graham's Labrador, Jasper.

Within hours of showing symptoms, Graham took the dog to the vet for an IV and activated charcoal.

"I knew mushrooms were poisonous, but before this episode, I didn't put two and two together and know that dogs can eat them and get pretty sick or die from it," said Graham.

Since Clark’s dog died, he has taken on the never-ending task of picking mushrooms and closely watching his other dachshunds.

"If you see them do it, don't be like me. Take them to the vet," he said.

Mushroom experts said most mushrooms are not toxic to dogs, but unless you know mushrooms, it's best to keep your pet away from all of them. The problem is not just in the foothills.

A technician at VRCC, an emergency clinic in Englewood, said they have seen six cases in the last month.

The symptoms of mushroom poisoning include acting intoxicated, seizures, running into things, head tilts, staggering, excessive drooling and walking in circles.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

8 State Dogfighting Raid Rescues 450

This is a red letter day for dogs - and for dog lovers across the U.S.

Now, let us all focus on a successful prosecution that will make these monsters think twice before subjecting any more dogs to this kind of horror.

My gratitude to the HSUS for leading the charge, and to the law enforcement people who supported them in this historic undertaking.

Read the story:

Sunday, July 5, 2009

The No-Fear Dog

Tonight we went into town to see the fireworks, and of course my husband's dog went along. He said he was sure Ralph wouldn't be bothered by the noise and I figured that if he was we could just leave, since we planned to stay at the pickup to watch.

I didn't need to be concerned. Ralph went to sleep on the way to town and slept through the whole thing!

I hope all of your dogs fared just as well - I feel so sorry for the ones who are afraid. Even worse for the ones who get left outdoors and run to get away from the noise - and get lost.

Saturday, July 4, 2009

Friends to the Rescue!

Last night I was working in the garden when it was time to go back to the house to check on things in the oven. On my way I stopped to feed the horse.

I didn't think much about the dogs not being at the house with me, because my husband was still outside, and they'd rather stay out as long as they can.

They're also creatures of habit, so when I came out of the house to head back to the garden after 20 minutes or so and heard them barking, I assumed that they were running around the hay shed, following the squirrel who loves to tease them.

But no, Ralph came running toward me, barking his head off!

What in the world is this about? As soon as he saw I would follow, he ran for the feed room, then he and Pepper stood in front of the door barking. That's when I heard Suzie - barking from inside.

She had followed me in when I got grain and I had accidentally left her there.

But Ralph and Pepper weren't going to let her be locked up for long. Everyone should have such good friends!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

For Dog Rescuers: A Money Source, Perhaps

Found on Twitter:

This link leads to an article about a dog training site that will be giving away $25,000 in $500 chunks to needy dog rescues. Says there's an on-line form to fill out.

Every rescue needs all the funds it can get, so check it out!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Americans Consider their Pets Family Members

Half of all Americans consider their pets family members, according to a recent AP Poll. "Only half?" I ask. I would have thought that number was higher. Had AP interviewed me, the numbers would have been skewed in all categories.

Let's see I definitely fit into the single, female category therefore I consider my pets as "full" family members, NOT pets, and NOT part family members. Also, a city girl, my pets are condo pets. No running around in the grass. They're clean, prim and proper.

Next, I dress both my dog AND cat in costumes for Halloween. One year all three were ducks. Since Jean Pierre is a short-hair, orange marmalade, male cat, no additional accessories are needed for lounging around the house. However, when traveling he does sport a regal, red, diamond-studden collar with gold name plate.

Ma Cherie (maltese dog) still wears bows 24/7 and they change with the seasons and for special occasions. Did I mention my pets have their own physical bathroom? Yes, an entire bathroom is theirs. Ma Cherie has drawer full of brushes and bows. And each pet has their bathroom "station". It's true.

In the category of travel, I will go so far as to take my cats on local travel within Florida when I drive my car. They've been to Gainesville, Sarasota, and Key West. Pet friendly hotels are at top of my list.

And finally, yes, each year my Christmas cards must have one pet or all three pets in the photo.

Admittedly, I'm on the extreme end but I adore my pets. The unconditional love is greater than any love in this world. They are happy, playful and comforting no matter if I'm happy or sad.

Since the sudden passing away of my baby boy, Pepe Francois, I'm now looking to adopt another cat. Three is a good number and my family will be complete again.

So do you consider your pets, FULL family members, PART family members, or just plain pets? Tell us by posting a comment! By the way, there is no wrong answer.

Christine from BLOG SISTERS

Monday, June 22, 2009

Portuguese Water Dogs Now in Demand

Since the President chose a Portuguese Water Dog to be the nation's "First Dog," breeders have seen a 100% increase in the number of people asking for them... but in many cases, they're saying "no."

These dogs, which were introduced to the U.S. in the early 1970's, sell in the neighborhood of $2,000 each, and only 1,400 puppies per year are born here. They're bred by about 200 breeders in the U.S. and those breeders keep a tight leash on who can have one. Most people making application are subjected to a long application form - about 11 pages - and must have their family and their home approved.

Because they tend to bite, they aren't recommended for households with small children and older children generally must be interviewed by the breeder before the home will be approved.

One breeder who was interviewed in the Wall Street Journal says she has tightened her restrictions. No one gets one of her dogs unless they can either stay home all day or take the dog along to work. They must also have a fenced yard and no children under the age of 6. Right now she has about 30 people on the short list for approval to purchase one of 10 puppies. And those who are chosen don't get to choose their pup - she does that based on personality evaluations of both the pups and the families.

Of course the Obamas didn't have to pass any of these tests. The children were "approved" based on their behavior on television. That made me chuckle, because I think kids in front of a TV camera, whose parents (or nanny) have warned them about behaving, probably are different people than they are at home.

Maybe I just didn't notice, but I don't remember people going wild to have the same breed of dog as previous Presidents. Maybe that was because other Presidents chose breeds that are more popular, and thus more common in America?

I do think it's wonderful that the breeders are being careful. I remember when the movie "101 Dalmations" caused people to rush out to buy the breed - and within a few months the shelters were overflowing with them. It seems that isn't the right breed for a family with small kids, either.

So - the bottom line. If you're longing for a Portuguese water dog, contact a breeder and get in line. You're in for a long application period and perhaps an even longer wait before you'll get a puppy. Oh, and of course, you'll pay a hefty monetary price as well.

I still think my dogs are the best - even though they're all rescue dogs and (as far as I know) not one has a pedigree.

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Allergies - Dogs (and cats) have them too!

A couple of days ago I found myself at Yahoo answers and saw the following question:

"Could natural flea remedy poison my dog?

My dog recently got fleas so by boyfriend got a natural flea remedy called "only natural pet" the all in one flea remedy. it contains diatomaceous earth, sage, eucalyptus, yellow rock root, fennel seed, and rosemary leaf. She has been on this powder cure for about 2-3 days and now is having diarrhea, drools a lot, and had an accident when she was picked up yesterday. She's never had these problems previously, could it be the powder? If not what would you recommend? She is 3 years old, 50 lb, and a chow- german sheppard mix from a rescue.

Additional Details
I have called a vet and she will be going in later today however I'm just a worried pet owner. I have bathed her to get all of the powder off of her and I got advantage. The previous vet I had said it works the best .

Also, the bottle says it is vet approved. I know that could just be bull but just wanted to put it out there if it was in some way helpful."

Since I've had experience with pet allergies, I had to answer her:

Every one of us is allergic to different things - your dog is no different!

He absolutely could be having a reaction to ingesting the flea remedy. I believe strongly in natural remedies and shy away from the chemicals - whether for me or for my dogs.

Once, when my dogs got into fleas, I took them to the vet and he used Frontline. Two of my dogs were fine with it, but one itched and scratched until he bled for a full month until the chemicals worked their way out of his system. I would never consider using a chemical flea killer on him again.

Any time ANY medication - natural or pharmaceutical - causes a bad reaction, stop it immediately. I listened to the vet once and kept up with Rymadyl - and lost my best friend to it. Had I listened to my brain and stopped the medication when the dog couldn't stop throwing up, he might be alive today.

I followed up with an invitation for the asker to tell her story here...

After writing the answer I didn't think much about it until I got the notice that my answer was "the chosen one." I also got a note saying she'd be happy to share her experience with all of us, so this post is for her to answer.

If YOU have had similar experiences, please do jump in and tell your story too!

Here's to healthy, happy pets.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Herding Instinct in Dogs

People say that Heelers have a latent herding instinct, and that with no livestock to push around, they'll often try to herd their humans, other dogs in the family, or even the cat. I've even heard of this breed nipping at their humans' heels to get them moving in the right direction.

Pepper has never done any of that. His greatest interest in life has always been little kids - and lately, old people. He just loves to snuggle.

He's seen a lot of cows - but from a distance. Since our neighbors turn their cows out in the pasture next to our property, he sees them all summer.

But a couple of nights ago we went for a walk and the cows were right up by the gate.

Pepper stopped and stared at them, and then walked under the gate to get closer. His whole body seemed to snap to attention while he stood absolutely still and just stared.

I felt like I could hear him thinking "There's something I know about these creatures. I know I'm supposed to do something about them, but I don't know what. What am I supposed to do here??"

The other dogs and I stood and waited for a while, watching to see what Pepper would do, but he stood there like a statue until I called him to come along.

Anyone else had a similar experience?

Monday, June 15, 2009

Summer Dog Care

Now that hot weather is here, we need to take extra precautions to protect our furry friends.

Even though they may love to run and play in the sun, we should limit their hard activities to morning and evening, when the temperatures aren't so extreme - and we need to keep fresh water available to them at all times.

If your dogs stay outside in a yard most of the day, they need a good sun shade. It should have plenty of ventilation to let them cool off in any breeze that may come by. Remember, a plastic dog house might turn into an oven, so don't consider that as shade for your dog!

Next think about their feet. If they go walking on city sidewalks, they could get their pads burned. So either use some "doggie slippers" or limit their walks to cooler times of day.

Unless someone is going to stay in the vehicle with your dogs - with the AC running - leave them home when you go out to do errands. Just 15 minutes in a parked car (or motorhome) in summer could kill your dog!

That brings me to pickup beds. I hope you don't carry your dog in the back of your pickup - at least not unless he is cross tied to prevent falling out. Veterinarians tell me that a huge percentage of the injuries they see are from dogs falling from trucks... a horrible thought.

Even if they aren't injured, jumping out of a truck is a major reason for dogs being lost in communities like ours, where too many people carry their dogs that way. When I was working in rescue it was hard to feel sorry for people who came hunting for their lost dogs and admitted that they'd left them in the back of the pickup - and didn't even know when they fell out.

If your dog is going to be in the bed of your pickup even for a short while - like while you run in to a store - remember that he needs protection from the metal or plastic truck bed. Keep a heavy dog bed there for him to lay on - and/or line your pickup bed with plywood or some other material that won't absorb heat as readily as metal or plastic.

Saturday, June 13, 2009

The First Dogs

I've been reading an interesting book by Stanley Coren called
The Intelligence of Dogs: A Guide to the Thoughts, Emotions, and Inner Lives of Our Canine Companions.

Chapter two delves into the natural history of dogs and how dogs have evolved over the centuries.

For instance, it says that no adult dogs in the wild have hanging ears. Only puppies have floppy ears. The fact that our modern breeds have hanging ears is one of many signs that our modern dogs are more "puppylike" than their ancestors were.

It also says that dogs have been our companions longer than any other animal. (I think a record my kids had when they were small talked about the dog being the "first friend," too.)

A fossil found in the 1950's in Iraq shows that dogs have been dwelling with humans for 14,000 years. This dog is so similar to "modern" dogs that at first the fossil was ignored. Researchers incorrectly assumed that it was a more modern dog who had wandered into the ancient cave site and died there.

It wasn't until 1974 that researchers from the British Museum in London decided to take a closer look.

Another excavation, this one in southern Europe, revealed bones from about the same time period, and showed that dogs must have been considered protectors even then. The skeleton of a Stone Age girl was found surrounded by 4 dogs, each facing a different direction, as if to guard her.

In America, bones have been found that show dogs were sharing lodgings with humans eleven thousand years ago.

But my favorite part of this chapter relates a folk tale from the Kato Indians of California. This is a legend about how the god Nagaicho created the world.

Once the world was created, he began walking about, creating the creeks and rivers, men and women, and a variety of animals. And, on this walk about the new world, he was accompanied by his dog. Apparently, to the Kato Indians, the idea of a human (the god Nagaicho) going around without his dog was just not thinkable, so Nagaicho had his canine companion even before he created the world.

The dog was simply always there.

I agree with the Katos - going around without a dog is simply unthinkable!

Monday, June 8, 2009

Radio Show for Dog Lovers

Have you ever heard the "My Doggie Says" radio show?

I was honored to be a call-in guest a couple of weeks ago, and as a result have met new friends - a wonderful bonus for sitting around talking about dogs for an hour. Guests cover many different aspects of life with dogs, including dog rescue. When I was on the show, Fred Haney, Heather Murphy, and I discussed dog rescue and fund raising for rescue - among other things, of course!

Fred is the host of the show, and Heather is a volunteer for the Arizona Golden Retriever Connection - an all volunteer, foster based rescue dedicated to placing Goldens in forever homes.

You can learn all about the radio show by visiting Fred's My Doggie Says Blog. You'll love the photos and videos - Fred's dog likes to play soccer!

The radio show is aired on KFNX 1100, Phoenix every Wednesday night from 8 to 9 (Pacific Daylight time/ Mountain Standard Time)

It is also streamed live on

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Good News From New Brunswick

An email just came in from my friend Nicole Thebeau at Kent County Animal Rescue in New Brunswick. She was passing along good news she had just received, so I'll just copy part of the message here.

This is an important step forward because it means that we're making headway in raising awareness that animal abuse is a serious crime. It could also mean that more in government are realizing that animal abuse and domestic abuse are closely related.

This has been a battle, and so many are ignorant. I once had our County Sheriff tell me that there was NO known connection between dog fighting and domestic abuse or any other crimes. Of course, the connection is well documented, but she hadn't bothered to learn that - or chose not to believe it.

Maybe what it takes to get this kind of response in the U.S. is for more of us to speak out - contact our City, County, State, and Federal government leaders, write letters and articles, and of course support our local rescues.

Anyway... here's their good news:

I am pleased to inform you that late this afternoon the New Brunswick government house leader and the opposition house leader signed an agreement that guarantees the passage of the amendment to the SPCA ACT Bill 85 that will increase fines for individuals and businesses who abuse and neglect animals to a maximum of $100,000 and/or 18 months jail time. The bill will be brought to third reading by June 18th.

This will make New Brunswick fines for animal abuse the harshest in Canada. This sends a strong message that New Brunswick will not be a haven for those who abuse animals. This is only a start. There is much more to do."

If YOU have good news to share, please help yourself to the comment button and start writing. All of us who love dogs (and other pets) love to know when good things are happening to benefit them.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Coyote Scare Tonight!

It took a half hour before I quit shaking!

Tonight I let the dogs out for their 10 o'clock run around the yard, and within minutes I heard the kind of barking that strikes fear into a dog lover's heart. Pepper and Suzie both sounded scared - panicked, even. Ralph, who goes on a rope when I let him out after dark, sounded angry. He's the only one large enough to defend against a coyote of any size, and he couldn't reach the others.

And the other voices that joined the fray sounded ominous. I know, it could have been a small coyote, visiting all alone. But it sounded like more than one, and that can mean death to domestic dogs.

Of course I started yelling at them to come back up the hill, then started screaming just some kind of noise in hopes of scaring the coyotes. Meanwhile, I remembered my fire crackers and ran back inside to get them. By the time I lit two of them my dogs were back at the door, looking relieved, and the "extra voices" had stilled.

I think that from now on, before I let them out for the night-time potty run, I'll go out and shoot a fire cracker or two. Knowing my kids have encountered intruders in the dark is just too frightening.

Exercise - the Great Doggie Tranquilizer

You already know about Freckles - my neighbor's puppy who terrorizes my dogs by jumping all over them and trying to kiss them too much.

Last night they were visiting out at the shop when another neighbor came by to visit. When he opened the door, Freckles flew out and came bounding to where Suzie, Pepper, and I were busy feeding the horse.

Freckles doesn't get to run free at her house because her person is afraid she'll get in the road and be run over. So I took her for a long walk in our back meadow - and what fun she had!

She explored everything - the old truck parked off to the side, the hole Suzie dug in her search for underground critters, the scents on the pile of logs waiting to be turned into firewood, and of course the pond.

But best of all - she ran. She looked like a Greyhound in a race - stretched full out and taking 10 feet in a stride. She ran around the pond, she circled the garden, she ran for the pure joy of living.

And when we went back to the shop - she laid down and behaved herself. No pestering the other dogs, no jumping on the people. Good exercise was just the tranquilizer she needed.

I hope he brings her to visit often.

Friday, May 29, 2009

No Kisses!

You know about Freckles - my neighbor's puppy. She's about 9 months old now and still a bundle of energy. So much so that my dogs just want her to stay home! They don't appreciate being jumped on and kissed to extremes.

Ralph (the big guy) has come to terms with her and he tolerates her until he's tired - then snarls and tells her to knock it off. Susie, my Border Collie, gets mad and puts her on the ground with a lot of barking and snarling, but Pepper has a different approach.

Pepper just sits still and gives her dirty looks... like this one:

Monday, May 25, 2009

Puppy Season - take care to prevent Parvo

Puppies are so cute and cuddly - everyone who sees them wants to touch. But that's NOT a good idea. For the first few weeks, pups have some immunities from mom, assuming that she's healthy. But when they get old enough to get out and romp around, they're in the prime time for catching a disease - and Parvo is the worst of the worst.

If you've ever seen a puppy suffering from this disease, you know. It's something you never want to see again because they do suffer so terribly.

Parvo is a disease that attacks a dog's gastro-intestinal tract and then moves into its bone marrow. When treated at home, survival rates are less than 50%. When treated with I.V. therapy in an animal hospital, survival rates are still only 80 to 90%. Our vet called it "The Meanest Guy in Town."

Spring is a time of high incidence...probably because it is "puppy season" and the young ones are the most susceptible. Add to that the fact that everyone wants to pet a puppy...and the disease spreads.

None of us can remove all chances that our puppies will contract this disease, but there ARE steps to take to minimize the risk.

First, make sure all of your adult dogs are vaccinated, de-wormed, and carrying a healthy weight. The de-worming is important because worms weaken the stomach lining, giving the Parvo virus an easy target. Then, be sure that all your puppies get their first shots at 6 weeks of age. Give another shot every 3 weeks...making sure that they get two after 12 weeks of age. You can take them to the vet, or you can purchase the shots at a feed store or pharmacy and give them yourself. De-worm them as soon as the vet says they're old enough.

If you bring a new dog into your home, especially a puppy, keep it isolated from your other animals for 14 days. That is, unless you KNOW its history and know it has been vaccinated. And, since older, stronger dogs can carry the virus without becoming ill, keep your pup away from older dogs until he's had two shots after 12 weeks of age.

A pup who looks perfectly happy one day can be deathly ill the next - which is one reason why it's so important not to mix litters (as in a shelter) and not to pet a puppy without disinfecting your hands (and clothes) before you go anywhere with other puppies. At the first sign of intestinal upset, get that dog to the vet. If you catch it soon enough, you may be able to save the dog.

Protect All the Dogs you meet...

Humans often spread Parvo without even noticing. By forming some new habits...and instilling them in your can help stop the spread of this dread disease.

First...Wash your hands. Before you touch a puppy... wash your hands. After you pet a dog... wash your hands. You don't know where you might pick up this virus... it could even be sitting on the handle of a grocery store cart...left there by some other customer. So wash your hands!

One significant outbreak of Parvo traced back to kids walking home from school and petting the puppies in yards along the way. They carried the disease along their entire route from school to home.

YES...they're adorable, and YES you like to give them attention and pet them... but by doing so could kill them. Don't.

Next, if you happen to step in a pile... don't just wipe your shoes. Wipe them with a mild bleach solution. If you know you've held a dog with Parvo, bleach your clothes as well. And if you've had a sick puppy in your home, you need to bleach all areas it occupied. One dog rescuer I know had to bleach the upholstery in her car, because she transported a Parvo puppy.

Speaking of shoes, don't leave the shoes you wear "out in the world" where your puppies can get to them. You have no way to know if you've stepped on soil that carries the virus, so just keep those shoes away from the pups.

According to our vet, the only things that can kill Parvo are bleach and hot sunlight. So if you've had a sick puppy in your yard, it isn't safe to put another dog in the yard until after a very hot summer. (There is a product on the market that shelters use - and I don't know the ingredients. I do know that the bottle has clear warnings not to get it on your skin.)

Vaccination is the first line of defense and careful habits is the second. Please use them both to keep your dogs alive and healthy.

Cats are also at risk - not from Parvo, but from kitty diseases. But they're in even more danger because cat diseases are generally airborne. So don't take your new kitten out visiting until he or she has had the series of vaccinations.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Rescued Dogs in Jamacia Need Water - Please Help

What would you do if you suddenly had no water for 100 rescued dogs?

Can you imagine trying to handle the situation by filling buckets and bringing them from home? You might be lucky, if you had enough volunteers, to get just enough water for drinking. Never mind what you need for cleaning tasks.

ANIMAL HOUSE JAMACIA needs our help right now to provide water to their dogs - here's their story:

"We have a major problem at the moment and seriously need help.

The company that was supplying our water handed the water line over to a new company which, in turn, and without notice, discontinued our water supply saying it was too expensive to continue same.

Given that we have over 100 dogs at this location you can imagine what a difficult situation this has placed us in. We are negotiating with them but thus far they haven't budged an inch.

For the short term, it appears that all we can do is purchase tanks and a pressure pump and have water trucked in - not an ideal solution but the only option at present.

Major stumbling block here is that we don't have the funds to do this."

If you can help, please visit us at and scroll to the bottom to make a donation via Paypal or send a check to:

Animal House Jamacia
P. O. Box 775
Ocho Rios, Jamaica"

About Animal House Jamacia:

Founded in the 1990's because of serious concerns about the plight of animals on
the northcoast of Jamaica, THE ANIMAL HOUSE JAMAICA has been helping stray, injured, abandoned, and feral (wild) animals and their owners ever since. We provide food, shelter, medical care (including spay and neuter), and adoptive services to both animals and owners in need.

These folks desperately need our help, so if you can give even $2, go to and make a donation today.

All rescues struggle to get funds for food and medical care - but without water, the rest won't help at all.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

"Mad Dogs" get a Reprieve / My guest "appearance"

Summertime - we've all been waiting for it after a long cold winter and a Spring that's been none too warm.

BUT... it makes my dogs mad.

When the thermometer begins to rise it means they can no longer accompany me to town to do errands and get groceries, and they don't like that one bit. So I have "mad dogs."

But today the cool weather has returned - complete with wind that seems bent on beating my poor tomato plants to pulp. So they got to ride along.

Everyone please remember - temperatures inside your car can reach 130 degrees within minutes, so let your dogs be mad. Treat them like you would your small children - if you can't take them inside with you, don't take them at all.

Mad dogs at home are much more fun than dead dogs in your car.

And Now... an announcement

For all you folks in the Phoenix area, I've been invited to be a guest tonight on Fred Haney's "My Doggie Says..." radio talk show on KFNX 1100, from 8:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m., Mountain Standard Time (which is also Pacific Daylight time).

If you live where you get that station, please join us!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Dogs - They tell you what they need

Ralphie Dog went fishing with my husband and son today - in a small boat. He was having a good time watching and snoozing until he decided that it was time for a potty break.

The he started doing the "talk and grumble thing" until they got the message and took him to shore. A quick trip ashore, back to the boat, and he settled down to nap until it was time to go home.

At home he shows up at my desk about 11 p.m. - and pushes on my arm until I give up and take him outside. If I'm in the middle of a sentence and don't want to lose my thought I have to hold his head with one arm and type one-handed.

This sure is better than living with a dog who sneaks off to do his business in a corner!

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Three-legged Dogs

Have you ever met a three-legged dog?

Before I knew such a dog, I thought they had a handicap. In fact, we put one poor rescue dog through weeks of antibiotics and pain killers because we thought the best thing for her was to try to save her shattered leg.

When the vet finally said that he couldn't find a way to stop the infection so the leg could heal, we made the decision to have that leg amputated. And from then on, she was a happy, healthy dog.

Because she was a rescue, she was in a foster home. And that home happened to be with a dear friend of mine. And since she was a special dog, my friend couldn't let her go, so I get to see Tiki quite often. She can run and play just as fast and as far as the others, and has no problem at all with jumping on or off the deck.

Since then I've helped raise the money for other amputations, and every one of those dogs gets along just as if having 3 legs was the most normal thing in the world.

So, if you meet a three-legged dog, don't feel sorry for them. Feel glad that they had a human who loved them enough to give them the right medical care.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

The Danger of Coyotes

Do you have coyotes wandering the forests near your home? We do, and sometimes they come a bit closer than I like. After all, I have a cat who loves to go outside, and I don't want him to wind up as "lunch."

Coyotes are dangerous for dogs too. Smaller dogs are most at risk, but even a large dog can get in trouble facing a whole pack of coyotes.

Generally, one coyote will come in close and try to lure a dog away from the house - where the whole pack is waiting to attack. Sometimes the only way to chase them away is a gunshot or other loud noise. (I keep a package of firecrackers in the cupboard by my back door, just for this purpose.)

This week one lone coyote decided to come exploring without the pack - and he was sorry. Ralph isn't huge, but he weighs about 80 pounds and most coyotes are barely half that size.

Ralph was laying on the edge of the hill, behaving like the King - and master of all he surveyed - when that coyote got brave and trotted right up almost into Ralph's yard. We might not have noticed, but Suzie saw something going on and went to the window, so we followed her gaze.

And there was Ralph - thoroughly beating up a coyote! My husband opened the door and hollered and Ralph let go of him, but when he tried to run off, Ralph was right back on him. The second time he let go and came back to the house, while the coyote made an escape.

I doubt if he'll come back to our yard real soon - at least not by himself!

I have to admit, I like hearing them howl and yip at night - but only if they sound like they're not too near. When they get loud, I start checking to make sure both cats are in the house and safe.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Found! A Better Solution to Flea and Tick Control

A few days ago I had found some sources for natural flea and tick control - and now I've found one I'm even more excited about.

Why? Because its from the same folks who make the ArthroIonx that gave our dog Ralph back his mobility. I'm sure I've told you - he was so crippled that he couldn't even climb up into his favorite chair. Running and playing seemed to be a thing of the past. He had arthritis plus a torn ligament, and the vet said operating on the ligament would put too much strain on the other leg, so we should just feed him pain-killers to keep him comfortable.

Well, Rimadyl and the other one they tried both made him sick, so that was out of the question. Then I found ArthroIonx and he began to heal. Now he runs and plays just like a young dog, in spite of his 9 years.

So, you can understand why I trust the people who make these products.

The new shampoo is all natural - no pesticides to make your dog sick - or to rub off on yours or your children's skin and make you all sick! In fact, this formula was originally intended for use on children - it's that safe.

You can read why it works so well when you click on the link below.

Defendex Pet Shampoo - Buy 3 Get 2 Free(Plus Free Shipping to the US)

Here's to a healthy summer - with no itchy dogs!

Thursday, May 7, 2009

How Service Dogs Started Visitng Nursing Homes

Did you ever think about how dogs got started being welcome visitors in hospitals and nursing homes?

I read the story a long time ago, and think it's worth sharing.

It seems there was a lady in her 90's who had always lived alone - except for her dogs. When she fell and broke a hip, her family and her doctors decided that she could no longer live by herself and she would have to live out her life in a long-term care facility. Her dogs were given away, her house and belongings sold, and there she was.

The lady stayed in her room and had few visitors, since family lived far away and by the time you're 90+ you don't have a lot of friends still living. She seemed to shrink and she refused to take part in any of the activities offered at the home.

Then one day a nurse, trying to get her to converse, asked about the calendar her friend had brought. She said something like "This calendar has beautiful dogs. Do you like dogs?"

The lady replied that she loved dogs and told the nurse how much she missed her own.

And that's how it started. The nurse thought it over, then went to the supervisor and asked for permission to bring her own dog in to visit the lady. The supervisor said she could try it.

From that day forward, the lady started to come back to life. The dog came once a week to visit and the lady lived for that day, but also started talking to other people and taking part in activities. And every time the nurse brought her dog, more of the residents came out to see her. They started buying treats to share and "dog day" became the most anticipated event of the week.

And from that small beginning - the practice grew. Thank goodness.

I don't know how many of my readers live with service dogs and take them out to bring comfort to others - but I want you to know I consider you to be heroes. I know the job pays nothing but satisfaction, and not many people can and will take the time to reach out in that manner. You have my admiration, and my gratitude.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Natural Mosquito Repellant - Grow it Yourself!

I already told you about buying and using catnip spray as an insect repellant.

Did you know that catnip is one of the easiest herbs to grow, and that when planted near your patio, it can reduce the incidents of mosquitoes becoming uninvited guests at your barbecue?

It's true. And when you dry some of it, your cats will adore you.

Part of the mint family, catnip smells good when you clip it or even brush against it. The only thing to watch is keeping it under control. The plant grows tall and spreads.

Try planting catnip around the perimiter of your dog kennel as well as your patio - your dogs will appreciate the relief from both the biting and the buzzing.

If you're talented, you can also make your own spray from homegrown catnip - so get over to the nearest garden center and pick up a plant or two. It might not be called catnip - it could have some name like Cat Mint. Just search through the mint varieties and you'll find it.

Another great mosquito repellent is probably there in your kitchen cupboard - plain old vanilla. I use the imitation variety and it works fine. I like it because I like the smell and don't mind smearing it on my face and neck when I go outside in the evening. Commercial products give me an instant headache - but vanilla doesn't.

I've read that young ladies hoping to attract a beau used to dab vanilla behind their ears - proving once again that the way to catch a man is to promise him food.